Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Joy of Spaceships

When I was a young science fiction geek, before I became the wise old turtle you see at the top of this page, there was nothing more exciting than the illustrations of Chris Foss. He painted space scenes on a tremendous scale, featuring oddly shaped - almost abstract - spaceships, checkered and striped, sprouting stray antennae, almost always on a vast scale. Collosal and impersonal, descendants of the aircraft carrier rather than the fighter jet, they hung against vast nebulae, or wreathed themselves in glowing jets of exhaust.

His works seemed so distinctive that I was quite taken aback to find that his name was intimately associated with something almost as exciting as spaceships - sex. He was, in fact, one of the two illustrators of the original 'The Joy of Sex', that mysterious book of instruction, discreetly removed from many a parental shelf, which showed us all that sex could be not only quite unerotic, but also very, very hairy.

I shouldn't really be amazed that a commercial artist is capable of working in a range of different styles, but what can I say? I am amazed.

For Chris Foss science fiction artwork on the web, try here or here.

For Chris Foss books, try 21st Century Foss, The Chris Foss Portfolio, Diary of a Space Person or Science Fiction Art. And of course, there's always The Joy of Sex (old edition)


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